Saturday, June 18, 2011

Book #16: The Brightest Star In the Sky

Book #16 is by Marian Keyes and is called The Brightest Star In the Sky. I'm not sure that I have a lot to say about this book. I honestly didn't really enjoy much about it. It's told from the point of view of an "angel" that is looking for a new soul to dwell in, but the reader isn't really let in on this until the very end of the book. The problem for me is that it follows multiple people and because it's unclear who is telling the story, it's hard to understand why it's necessary to follow all of these people. And they aren't all really that interesting. The only thing keeping me reading (besides the rule I set for myself that I have to finish all books that I start) was the storyline about the couple Matt and Maeve. They lend a bit of mystery to the whole thing. I won't say what the resolution is, on the very slight off chance that someone actually reads this and then wants to read the story. I think that perhaps the convolutedness of this blog entry is decent evidence of the convolutedness of the book. It's rather disappointing...I've read some of Keyes other books and really enjoyed them, but the last couple have just really been blah. I even returned one to the bookstore after the first couple of chapters because I could tell that I just wasn't going to get into it. I've never done that before. Sad.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book #14: Three Willows and Book #15: The Host


Book #14 is Three Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares. This story is remotely connected to Brashares' Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series. I loved those books, so it was a no-brainer when I saw this at the library. It's a similar storyline - the Pants series is about 4 high school aged best friends that share a pair of "magical" pants. This book is about 3 girls that were best friends most of their lives but had drifted apart. They are in their last summer before they start high school. The story follows each girl on her journey, which ultimately leads them back to each other. Polly goes to a modelling day camp, even though she doesn't really have what it takes to be a model and ends up being hurt by the process. Jo spends the summer at her family's beach house, working at a restaurant and acting older to fit in, also getting hurt in the process. Ama is probably my favorite character. She reminds me a bit of my friend Stephanie. Very bookish, very smart, not what anyone would think of as "outdoorsy" and yet she ends up being sent on a wilderness trip instead of the academic camp she had thought she was going starts off a disaster, but she loves it by the end. I liked this book a lot. It's a bit simple, but it's young adult, so I didn't really expect anything earth shattering. I'm wondering if this is going to be another series, a la the Travelling Pants...

Book #15 is The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, THE Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame. I resisted this book for a long time. Most everyone I talked to about it hadn't read it because they had not heard great things about it and every time I picked it up and looked at the back of it I was reminded that it's about aliens. I'm not really into the whole alien thing. Never have been, so I kept giving it a pass. Even after Aaron recommended it to me, telling me that it is one of his favorite books, I resisted. Then I came across it in my perusals at the library. I figured, what the heck. Well. I'm glad that I did. I really enjoyed this book. Yeah, at it's base it's about aliens, but it's really about humanity and about how the unfeeling alien found her humanity. Now, it did start off a bit slow, but once I got through about 50 pages I was hooked, so if you've ever considered reading it, even a little, give it a chance!! If you liked the Twilight saga, you'll probably like this story.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book #12-Water for Elephants and Book #13-Blood Sins

Erm. Ok. So honestly I think I got a bit out of order in my numbering system. I was following the order in which they were listed on Goodreads, not realizing that they were sorted by date added, not date completed. I've now solved that problem. No one cares though, right? At least I'm trying to catch up...?

So, book #12 is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. As soon as I realized the movie was coming out, I decided I'd better get my act together and read it. I borrowed a copy from my sister Stacie and took it with me to day 3 of Jury Duty. I finished it that day, no problem...5 solid hours of reading did it for me. I liked it, but didn't love it. The issue is that with the exception of the main character, Jacob Jankowski, I just didn't really like any of the characters. And reading about some of the realities of how the animals in the circus were treated was simply heartbreaking. I honestly didn't really care much for the movie either. I had hoped that they would downplay the scenes of animal abuse, and I guess they did, but not nearly as much as I'd like. All in all I'm still glad that I read the book, and that I did it before I saw the movie. At least I was prepared.

Book #13 is called Blood Sins by Kay Hooper. Hooper's novels are always entertaining. All of them (at least most of them?) have a basis in the paranormal, mainly about a fictional branch of the FBI called the "Special Crimes Unit". Each member of the unit has some sort of "extra" sense or paranormal power. Empaths, psychics, mind name it. The main character in this book, Tessa Gray, is (among other things) clairvoyant and can "sense" other psychic abilities while shielding her own. This was another quick read but one that I enjoyed quite a bit more than Water for Elephants. One of the things that I really like about Hooper's style is that she does a really good job of distracting the reader from realizing who the real villain is. Her endings are usually worth getting to, and this novel didn't disappoint, which is something that I always appreciate.